Thursday, April 27, 2006

A sunny day, a busy life

I'm no longer freaked out about peak oil. I've adjusted and am feeling more able to deal with the idea that cheap oil may be drawing to a close. Trying to be super frugal about car use, though, and looking forward to the end of school and DH's permanent move to a new, closer office location in early summer.

I poked around in the upright freezer a bit and realized we don't need to buy meat for at least a month, even if we eat meat MUCH more often than normal. Heh. Cool! I made an oven-baked buffalo stew on a cool day early this week. The buffalo stew meat is from our local food cooperative and oh so tender. It turned out pretty well, and I found out the family buffalo-stew spread is: DH meat, carrots, onions but no potatoes (knew that). Son1 everything. Son2 meat, carrots but no potatoes. Me everything. Worked out okay! Well, except that I was going to bake biscuits as the stew finished in the oven, but got caught up in the evening news and ran out of time. Tortillas make do, in a pinch!

We dejunked the house quite a bit last Saturday. Now I have my decluttering and filing to do. The next two evenings we're going to dejunk the sunroom and maybe at least some of the garage, because the town's twice-a-year household junk pickup for our street is Saturday and we do not need to have two non- or poorly functioning TVs in our sunroom any longer! I hope it doesn't actually rain Friday night, 'cause I'd rather leave everything at the curb overnight as usual so folks can take what they want before the big official pickup.

Pale pink evening primroses are blooming all over town in sunny, ignored spots! Oenothera missouriensis, I think... And two days ago what did I see but furled prairie winecups along the roadside at the end of our street -- along the edge of pastures. Yay! I should look for them again today; I think they were furled because it was a very cloud-covered day -- but today is sunny (and warm, again). I LOVE that deep wine-red flower as much as I love Mexican hat and the little versions of the yellow coneflower that show up in the same areas in late July to my utter and complete delight.

In our yard, the big overgrown shrub at the corner of the house near the kitchen is blooming (ah-choo? not sure on that), as are the cheerful yellow perennials from my friend DA. It looks like all four will bloom this year, the second full growing season after they were transplanted late one spring. And alongside them, the Mexican hat is moving toward bloom! And the Indian paintbrush has that spiky look where flowers will eventually appear. I'm really glad I planted perennials that work well in this area, and that I had the patience to leave them alone for a couple of seasons to see how they settle in.

As for reading, I'm listening to a book on CD (8 CDs, actually!): Collapse: How societies choose to fail or succeed, by Jared Diamond. He wrote Guns, Germs, and Steel, which was the first selection of my nonfiction book club last fall, but I didn't even get halfway into that book due to lack of time and density of book. This one is pretty dense, too, but the CD version is very listenable. DH and I listen to it on the way home from picking him up from work in the evenings, and talk about it.

I'm still reading The Permaculture Way, and The Long Emergency, though on that I skipped the second half of the analysis of the world bit, read the last part that gives his predictions for changes in local life, and now I'm back to the analysis of the world bit. I also got a great book that finally came in at the library: The Knights Next Door: Everyday people living middle ages dreams. The author got involved in the Society for Creative Anachronism in order to write about it. I'd heard really good things about the book, and I sure have been curious about the reality (hehe) of SCA. A good read.

Son1 and Son2 have started their baseball practices, and next week the season begins. Son1's kid pitch baseball team of 10-year-old boys has games on all Tuesdays and Thursdays through mid-June. Son2's T-ball team of 6- and 7-year old boys has two games a week, but they are sprinkled among all of the days of the week -- arrgh! At least we have a schedule now, a big blessing for my May planning.

Son1 has had some great field trips lately with his fourth-grade class. Last Thursday they went to the zoo for an Earth Day-related ScienceFest that sounded really neat. Last Friday they went to a historical homestead/museum along with hundreds of other schoolkids for a day of life as circa 1890 kids, from building (but not lighting!) a campfire to toting their lunch in a metal bucket with a rope handle, to having a mock landrun! complete with taking their numbered rock to the land claim office to get their claim papers. WOW!

The day after Son1's Land Run field trip, Saturday, the kids and I went to the town's 89er Day parade. Very fun! It started with horse-drawn carriages and buggies, in the middle had lots of cool cars, dancers, bands, floats, fire engines, riders on horses, etc., and at the end had the actual horse-drawn wagon train that's spent the last 7-10 days working its way toward Norman. Very cool. The boys, of course, stuffed themselves with candy the parade participants were tossing to the crowds. No need for lunch when we got home, so I made them each eat a spoonful of peanut butter to soften the sugar high.

In a week or so the fourth graders will participate in a big mock city for a day at the science museum. Son1 has picked three potential jobs he would prefer: popcorn machine worker, accountant (for I forget what operation), or graphic designer (for I forget what other operation). Apparently it's a lot of fun AND they learn a lot about the money/exchange stuff that helps make a town or city run. Son1 said a friend plans to run for mayor and is promising to eliminate taxes. I posed the question to Son1 of how would the city then pay for the things it does to help the city run? (Maybe water, electricity, sewage, roads, police and fire protection..) Just a thought. I'm such an annoying mom!

Son2 is reading, reading, reading. And drawing, drawing, drawing. Currently it's a zillion variations of a rocket ship with an alien and some sort of other machine on the ground? The other big theme is an Amtrak-style passenger train. He's also losing baby teeth; two big gaps currently and perhaps another tooth loosening. Big brother Son1 lost a baby molar early this week, and a canine is about to go, any day now. Time to eat apples?

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